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Jasy201

Member Since 09 Aug 2012
Offline Last Active Aug 14 2012 07:52 PM
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#3740742 Tales of Tyria | GW2 Podcast

Posted Guest on 09 August 2012 - 07:26 AM

Posted Image
http://www.talesoftyria.com


Hey Guys I wanted to pop in and give a shout from the cast @ Tales of Tyria. :)

Tales of Tyria is a community effort to bring the more complicated aspects of GW2 and break them down for the average viewer (call it mixing elitism with casual if you will, a daring feat indeed) It is run by Team Legacy, but we make a point to keep it non-biased, and you will see us frequently promoting other guilds and SPvP teams that send us email, with no costs attached. Many of you know us by now, and we are hoping by creating this thread, many of you may find a new home with us, especially for those long drives @ work and GW2 fixes in general.

Here are a few links for your listening pleasure, and to get to know us.

Guru Feedback
http://www.guildwars...tales-of-tyria/

Videos
http://www.youtube.c...yNetwork/videos


I will use this thread as an all-in-one update thread for any relevant episode that pertain to SPvP or tournaments in general. While we cover a lot of SPvP, we also cover a lot of WvW and PvE and sometimes you'd rather skip over all of that. So this thread will promote episodes coming that will focus on the more competitive parts of GW2.

If you guys have anything in general you think would be a great idea, feel free to give us a shout here or at feedback@talesoftyria,com.

And hey, if you're just a fan giving a shout out, you can do that here too!

Thanks. See you guys in the chat room!


#3740748 The 48-Hour Marathon v1.1 - Gaming and Health | Guide

Posted Guest on 09 August 2012 - 07:40 AM

I thought I'd share this with this new addition to AJ, as many of us are about to take that specific plunge into countless hours of grinding SPvP or Gw2 in general. I hope this guide gives you a few pointers. I copied in full here so you do not have to click around.

The original can be found here.


Intro:

Health and gaming are not usually synonymous. Gamers like to stay up all night and live off chips, fast food, pizza, and soda. Exercise is anathema for some. This guide is for those who have absolutely horrible habits, but want to at least make some efforts at health so that they can game better and not feel awful during a 24 to 48 hour marathon of gaming. The topics we will touch on here include everything from sleeping, energy drink effectiveness, and preparing for that 24 hour release day, to lighting, posture, and finger dexterity. Health directly impacts our bodies ability to function. That function includes the brain, your reflexes, focus, and other things that directly impact your ability to game. Any serious gamer should be serious about their health as well. This guide aims to be a first stepping stone on that road to better health and better gaming, not the ultimate health nut guide.


The 48-Hour Marathon


Contents
An Introduction to The 48-Hour Marathon
Time Management[/goto]
Planning – Setting Goals, and Making a Schedule
Be a Cartographer
Be a Hoarder and a Packrat
Food and Supplements
Hydration
Food
Food Scheduling and Preparation
Supplements
Caffeine
Vitamins
The Physical Environment
Posture and Workspace
Hand Position
Monitor Lighting
Sound
Temperature
Sleep
Mobility
Finger Dexterity
Conclusion

First, the legal stuff.

Disclaimer: All material in this guide is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment available to the authors, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries. In addition, the information and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of every member of Team Legacy. Team Legacy acknowledges occasional differences in opinion and welcomes the exchange of different viewpoints.



An Introduction to The 48-Hour Marathon

Let us be honest from the start; this is a guide towards producing a great gaming experience during a 48-hour marathon; it is not a guide on how to stay awake for 48 hours straight (which we will explain why that is bad to do anyways). To accomplish staying awake is simple; chug energy drinks or drink coffee until you collapse from exhaustion. Of course, you can end up in the hospital or worse, end up dead if you don’t meet your body’s requirements. Neither the writers of this article, nor you want this to happen. We want you to enjoy Guild Wars 2 (GW2) to the maximum extent possible for years to come. We also realize that you want to get ahead if you’ve taken off time from work or your social life outside of gaming for the first 48 hours. This can also be used as a guide for any planned long gaming session.

It is fun to pretend when going into a marathon session of gaming, the best practice is to eat instant food, disregard exercise, and focus on the task of staying awake. Time is actually your enemy in many ways during the 48 hours. We’ll look at ways to effectively use your time during a 48-hour marathon to get ahead through planning, we’ll look at food and vitamins or supplements that can help you with mental cognition during the first 48 hours and any time you game as well. We’ll discuss how lighting and temperature will affect your gaming as well as how you can keep your finger dexterity so you aren’t cramping up halfway through a PvP match.  Finally, we’ll look at how sleep is actually going to help you game more effectively during your session.


Time Management

Time management should always be your number one goal during any game session, and most importantly during the crucial 48 hours after servers open. Many people argue 20 ways to do the same thing, but most people agree that an effective plan saves a lot of pain and downtime for the future.

Planning – Setting Goals, and Making a Schedule

Before sitting down, visualize and think about your upcoming gaming session. Planning is about setting goals, and then with the goal in mind, giving you a direction to accomplish the goals. Here are a few example questions you can ask yourself:
  • What is my goal for this session?
  • Where do I want my character to have progressed?
  • What content do I want to have completed?
  • What level do I want to be?
  • Who do I want to play with during the session?
  • Where am I going to go during the session (PvE maps/WvW)?
  • What do I want to get better at?
  • What do I want to gather?
  • How much money do I want to make?
  • How many matches does my team want to win?
  • What strategies or tactics do I want to learn?
The list of questions can be directed towards individual, guild, or team goals in GW2. Having the questions answered before you start playing will help you save an enormous amount of time. Once you have answered your questions, write down the goals on a piece of paper near you and check them off once you have accomplished them for the gaming session. You can also use this strategy for long term goals in game.

Creating and completing goals allows you to plan effectively and encourages you to be more effective with your time. If you meet or exceed your goals for the day, then go back and do the things that you may have put to the side.

During the first 48 hours into GW2, you should have a definite plan on what you want to accomplish during the game time. Your guild, if you have one, should have the same.

Example Schedule from BWE:
Once you have these goals, make a schedule of your first 48 hours. Include sleeping, breaks, and food; there is no limit to how exact you may want to be. Here is an example schedule one of the authors has used for the beta weekend events (this assumes a 3PM start time on a Friday for a BWE):

Day 1
15:00 – 18:00 Play World versus World (WvW), take entire Borderlands, our corner of Eternal Battlegrounds and Stonemist
18:00 – 18:15 Food, bio break, stretch
18:15 – 21:00 Continue WvW OR Complete Queensdale (Human) and Plains of Ashford (Charr)
21:00 – 24:00 Complete Diessa Plateau (Charr) and craft
24:00 – 02:55 Sleep, stretch
02:55 – WvW take entire Borderlands, our corner of Eternal Battlegrounds and Stonemist
05:00 Sleep

Day 2
07:00 – 10:00 Complete two zones OR WvW
10:00 – 10:20 Stretch break
10:20 – 12:00 WvW
12:00 – 12:30 Lunch
12:30 – 15:30 WvW OR complete zone and gather/craft
15:30 – 16:00 Nap
16:00 – 18:00 WvW or complete zone
18:00 – 18:30 Dinner break
18:30 – 20:45 WvW OR complete two zones
20:45 – 21:00 Stretch break
21:00 – 24:00 WvW
24:00 Sleep until 03:00

Day 3
03:00 – 05:00 WvW
05:00 – 12:00 Sleep
12:00 – Done WvW or finish any PvE zones/crafting


Be a Cartographer

Being a cartographer means simply knowing the maps. For instance, all the major starting areas will be known before release – this gives an edge to those who know what area is best suited for starting out, or for those who wish to start out in their chosen race’s zone, the best route to travel to hit up dynamic events (DEs), collect skill points, collect waypoints, and hit all points of interest. It is important to note that by traveling an efficient route which hits all major objectives and knowing it beforehand, the player’s time and effort are the most effective.

It is important to note that experience is greatest for DEs and hearts, so these should be the priority. Waypoints make travel easier, but their effective experience is not as great as doing an event (there is a caveat to this; it is very efficient and effective to gather the waypoints in the cities before ever stepping foot into the fighting world. A play can easily level from 2 to 5 under an hour by just collecting waypoints in cities, thus having a utility slot already available when the first outer-world event begins). Another quick timesaver is to always go through a zone portal to get the waypoint on the other side. This saves time in the future to help a player get to the farther zone faster. Also keep in mind that it costs less to go into a portal in the zone closer to you, so you can effectively get to a farther zone cheaper by using the waypoint in the zone bordering it.

Points of interest can help you to finish a zone, but they can also be completed at a later time when players have less to do, or during lulls in action. Skill points are a high priority because they help further the player’s available utility skills, but at some point leveling alone will allow the player to get everything they need as far as utility skills. There is a breakeven point around level 40 where players will have enough of a skill point pool that getting more skill points through events should be downplayed, and gaining levels (for skill points) through DEs, hearts, and WvW prioritized.

For SPvP and WvW specifically, if your team does not know a map, you are behind the power curve. Your team should know the best routes between objectives, where to aim equipment, where the best lookout points both high and low are, and how to effectively use open areas and choke points. Knowing the maps is just as important if this is part of your play during your 48 hours.


Be a Hoarder and a Packrat

For the first 48 hours, players (not including those solely focusing on SPvP) will be spending time in the game world gathering resources from nodes. This is effective as each hit provides the player with both experience and resources. What is not effective during the first 48 hours is to craft items without an ample supply. Taking the time to stop every time a small amount of materials is gathered takes time away from gathering more.

During the first 48 hours, players should gather, but they should hoard it all until they have reached ample supply to mass craft. There are most likely many opinions on what could be deemed ample, but the author has used ½ a stack or at least 125 of a resource before pushing through crafts. Because some crafts require discovery of new recipes, having an ample supply is necessary. Some crafts (jewel crafting, chef) can be done with less than ½ stacks because they are in some cases harder to gather for when gaining crafting levels, or in the case of cooking, you can craft items via vendor-based resources. That being said, there are NPC drops and nodes across the game world (some hidden very well) that can speed up this process. Learn where the drop and gathering nodes are and you will save yourself a bunch of time; make these places your last stop before hanging it up before a nap or long sleep.


Food and Supplements

First – buy your food beforehand. Do not wait to use what is left in your pantry for the first 48 hours. You should have a plan for what you want to eat along with when you will eat it.

Hydration

Hydration is important to health and gaming; have water near you and drink it. Tea, coffee, and soda all hydrate to some effect, but there is nothing better for hydration than water. The Adequate Intake for water set by the Food and Nutrition Board for total water intake for young men and women is 3.7 L and 2.7 L per day. That is 10, 12 oz glasses of fluid per day, and luckily food that has quite a bit of water in it (fruits and vegetables mainly) counts towards this total. So, drinking those “8 glasses of water a day” with good food choices can get you towards the goal.

A little-known fact: Most energy drinks are a diuretic, causing you to urinate more and thus lose water. Be sure to consume some extra water if you are going through several energy drinks.


Food

Stick to whole foods during the first 48 hours for your meals (and you should do so for good health anyways). A lot of people want to rush to the snacks, but these tend to be mostly made of carbohydrates, which cause an insulin response after eating them that makes you feel groggy and slows down your cognitive function; that insulin response is the “sugar crash” you may hear about from the 5-hour Energy commercials.

Try to get some whole lean protein (e.g., chicken breast, can of tuna), good fats (e.g., nuts or olive oil), and some whole-food carbohydrates (fruit or veggies) during each meal. For snacks, try to avoid large quantities of chips and sugary drinks. Again, we aren’t here to stop you from going on a Mt. Dew binge, but you’ll actually think a lot more clearly if you have some beef jerky and a handful of almonds as the hormonal effect from good foods will avoid a foggy mind and improve your cognitive function. Stock up on some protein bars for snacks and you’ll be better off!

Food Scheduling and Preparation[anchor]prep[/anchor]

So now that you know a bit more about hydration, food, and supplements have a plan of action! You can schedule your meals just like you can schedule your gaming, and pre-make the food before the gaming session. This again will save you time because instead of having to prepare the food and take a longer break (which isn’t a bad thing, it just depends on how long of a break you want to take) you can focus your time on eating, instead of preparation.

Tupperware containers of your meals ready to go will save you time and energy. But please, wash your dishes.

Big meals during the marathon will make you tired, so instead spread out your food intake over the course of the 48 hours.

When it comes to scheduling, one study of physicians and their eating habits found that small meals placed about 2 hours apart during a 12 hour shift helped them maintain mental acuity and improved their reaction times over their normal eating habits (Dinsmore et al, 2010). They had normal nutritional food provided (like fruits, sandwiches and other “normal” foods) to them at regular 2 hour intervals, with also plenty of water. Gamers, like physicians often can be distracted by their focus on a task and skip meals or eat large portions all at once leading to a spiky blood sugar. This is one of the causative factors in reduced concentration and lower reaction times that is fixed by small meals evenly placed apart. It’s not often you can make yourself better by eating!

Supplements[anchor]supplements[/anchor]

Supplements are going to be controversial so we aren’t here to change your mind about them. We are only going to offer information.




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Caffeine[anchor]caffeine[/anchor]

We love it as gamers. Caffeine is the most used drug used in the US (
http://campus.udayto...ewsletter/6.pdf
) and that isn’t going to stop anytime soon. But you can use it wisely when you have coffee, tea, or an energy drink (which we will hit on more). A great video summarizing the chemistry of caffeine can be found here:.

Caffeine can be used as a pick me up, but during the first 48, it shouldn’t be over-used. You can cause death by caffeine (
http://www.energyfie...ath-by-caffeine), but the amount you’d have to drink is pretty high (based on a 150 pound person for energy drinks (64 cans of Monster) and coffee (95 cups) or soda (190 cans of Mt. Dew).

In a review paper by Lieberman for the U.S. Military Nutrition Division, it was found that the optimal dose of caffeine for a sleep deprivation setting was 200mg (2003). Caffeine was found to help increase the soldier's ability to focus, increased their reaction time, and even helped to improve their aim (Lieberman, 2003). This has implications for gamers as well, as caffeine has the potential of improving gamer functioning. It should be noted that they also found caffeine produced positive effects before sleep deprivation (while rested) as compared to the control group with no caffeine, and that the effects peak at one hour after administration of the caffeine and wear out by the 8 hour mark (Lieberman, 2003). Lieberman also found that doses above 200 mg were not as effective, and participants in the study who received 300 mg might even experience a decline in alertness and reflex speed. The effects of a 200 mg dose could last for up to 8 hours, so taking too much caffeine within that time period might cause a decline in player abilities.  So you may achieve your 200mg of caffeine in any method you prefer. [Reference: Lieberman, H. R. (2003). Nutrition, brain function and cognitive performance.

Some of the effects of caffeine:

Positive effects:
  • Increased alertness
  • Decreased fatigue
Negative effects:
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness/anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Higher body temperature
  • Increased breathing and pulse rate
Our suggestion is simple, caffeine when waking is OK. You are just getting up and getting that jolt of cognitive function is a good thing, hence why hundreds of millions of people drink it in the morning. Another great use is to have it just before taking a nap; it takes roughly 15-30 min for it to take effect, so you can powernap and when you wake up the caffeine will keep you alert.

Avoid caffeine within 3 hours of a longer sleep session. If it keeps you up, you will stay up already due to the large dopamine response you are getting from your video game playing (yes video games cause hormonal responses in your pleasure centers, hence why you like to play them!).

So where do you get your caffeine from?

The answer is it depends. What is most important to you: dose, cost, or taste or a combination of all three? If taste is important, go that route, and find the drink that has caffeine in it that tastes the best to you. If dose is important, nothing beats coffee. Here is a list of amounts of caffeine in different drinks per oz (info from www.energyfiend.com):
Last but not least, keep in mind if you are drinking the full sugar version of an energy drink or add a lot of sugar to your coffee you are sending a mixed signal to your brain. Try to stick to sugar-free energy drinks if you can, and don’t overdo it! If you want to stay on a caffeine buzz throughout the marathon, do it slowly over time. Drinking seven cans of your choice beverage in an hour is a great way to give yourself heart failure.

Vitamins

Literature suggests the common vitamin deficiencies that are associated with brain function in developed nations include vitamin B 6 and 9, vitamin D, and A (Kennedy & Haskell, 2011). As gamers, we suggest focusing on all of the vitamins that are currently linked with cognition including Vitamins A, B (all), C, D and E (Kennedy & Haskell, 2011).

There has been a lot of publicity around the B vitamins but all of these vitamins listed play a vital role in cognition, for example vitamin C is more highly concentrated near your neurons than in your blood and is vital in the production of some brain chemicals as well as acting as an major antioxidant. Supplements can be purchased easily for these vitamins, and they are typically included in any multivitamin. However care should be used when choosing which brand as a lot of products have low potency and so are a waste of money. It is easy to Google for potency lists, just beware of who made the list. Be aware that many of the energy drinks above contain these vitamins with them (especially vitamin Posted Image, so there is no reason to take a vitamin supplement when an energy drink is providing it for you (i.e., read the labels!).

Also be aware if your diet is sound and full of good whole-food (no, not snacks) portions of protein, fat, and carbohydrates you are already getting a lot of vitamins. If you tend to eat a lot of processed or packaged foods, then adding a multivitamin with 100% supply of the daily recommendation should take care of the rest. Of course, only a blood test can really tell you if you are deficient in any one area. Consult your physician on this if you think you may have a problem. WebMD is a great resource for information on vitamin deficiencies and symptoms (
www.webmd.com).

Some vitamins are water soluble and some vitamins are fat soluble. It is important to know because fat soluble vitamins have the potential of reaching toxic levels if you over consume from supplements. Of the vitamins listed above, the fat soluble ones are vitamins A, D and E, if you choose to take supplements for these vitamins follow the bottles instructions carefully. It is to be noted that while deficiency in these vitamins is shown to decrease cognitive abilities, or even cause mental diseases, over abundance of these vitamins has not yet been show to boost cognition either (Kennedy & Haskell, 2011). This means that it will affect you if you are deficient, but having 5000% of the vitamin will not give you any further advantages over having 500%. So downing an energy drink with 5000% vitamin B would only boost you if you were currently deficient in this vitamin. [Reference: Kennedy, D. O. & Haskell, C. F. (2011). Vitamins and cognition what is the evidence? Drugs 71(15) pp 1857-1971.]

One vitamin of note is vitamin D. Vitamin D can become a problem if you never see a wink of sun, getting about ten minutes of good sun exposure can produce enough vitamin D for the day, go walk around the block for ten minutes in the afternoon (during your gaming break)! Gamers that have darker skin (the pigment in their skin acts as a natural sun block) or who are not fully grown yet might need supplementation or more than ten minutes of sun. If you feel depressed, live in an area with little sunshine, or are tired despite sleeping, you might also benefit from more vitamin D in the form of a supplement.

Continuous use of video games, television, and computers from childhood has been linked to a lack of Vitamin D (
Study observed in children).  Often when people form a lifestyle based around indoor activities, they are outside less and less. Lack of outdoor activity deprives the body of the natural Vitamin D which it makes from sunlight on the skin. Vitamin D deprivation is also a threat, as drinks like soda are starting to replace milk in common diets. This can cause various problems in bone strength over time. Getting outside and keeping track of Vitamin D intake when you can (through drinks and multivitamins) can help improve your health.



The Physical Environment

Posture and Workspace

Sitting at the computer correctly is always important, but even more so when you are going to be there for an extended session.  The last thing you want is to call it quits because you sat funny.  For the basics, keep your feet flat on the floor, sit up straight with your lower back/hips as far back as you can go, make sure your monitor is straight ahead and mouse/keyboard is in easy reach.  

Correct posture when using a mouse is a lot like playing a piano; the mouse should be low enough relative to your shoulders that your wrist does not touch your desk, and your wrist shouldn’t be bent at funny angles. The carpal tunnel in the human hand is under the most stress when you rest your wrist on a solid surface, and it is strained when the wrist is bent even a tiny amount. Make sure to elevate your wrist/arm while you play, or at the very least, use a gel cushion to relieve some of the pressure.

If your hands are in pain after a long session, be sensible and take a short break. Your guild may miss you during those 20 minutes, but they’ll miss you a lot more if you injure your hand and can’t play for weeks. Most importantly, just listen to your body. You know if you’re stressed out.

Every 20 minutes, step away from the monitor and look at something 20 feet away for a minimum of 20 seconds. Office workers and truckers alike know this as the 20/20/20 rule. Also, this may be overly obvious, but remember to blink, sometimes even force yourself to blink (an easy trick is to force yourself to blink whenever you hit a certain key). One of the main causes of eye strain is from staring at a single point for too long without blinking enough. If your eyes get considerably dry, consider using eye drops.

For more in depth discussion on working at a computer the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons has suggestions
here.

*Earache section - referencing what musicians do.* Keep the volume low - the ear not only acclimates to current sound levels, it may overcompensate to an increasing amount over time, leading to increased pressure to your ears. Pay attention to the levels of Bass in particular; DJs often find that they lose hearing in the lower ranges over time, which should indicate how stressful it is for your ears.




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Hand Position


Proper hand position is the number one way to prevent hand strain. From left pinky to right pinky, the fingers on your left hand should be on A, S, D, and F; the fingers on your right hand should be on J, K, L, ; (we acknowledge that there are other key-binding setups that can be used, but they will not be discussed here). A good reference picture is at http://www.customtyp...t_fingering.htm. The thumbs should be on spacebar. The hands should be parallel to the keyboard; don’t let your wrists fall. If you can’t keep your arms up, then it’s a good time to rest. Alternatively, some use gel wrist pads for support.


Monitor Lighting

Monitor lighting is just as important as background lighting.  Staring at a normal computer screen for 24+ hours is going to make your eyes hurt.  Try using a program like f.lux that changes the light on your monitors to be more natural as it gets dark and less glaring. Also try to keep your room well lit in order to keep your eyes from hurting too much.  Another method for combating eye pain and keeping your eyes intact is to hold your eyes shut for five minutes every 30-45 minutes by covering them with the palms of your hands.  This will save you a lot of headache in the long run.

Keeping your room well lit also helps keep you awake longer. As your environment gets darker your body begins to produce Melatonin, this then signals to your body that you are sleepy (
http://altmedicine.a...a/melatonin.htm
). You will naturally make Melatonin as the night hits but a well lit room will help counteract this to some degree.

Sound

As time wears on and you start to get sick of energy drinks, music can be used as an alternative to help keep you going.  Setup a playlist of music you like that gets you pumped up to help you fight through the fatigue. Sometimes the best ambient noise is a supportive guild mate!

Temperature

The human body will generally maintain itself at around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Times when the body temperature surpasses this is when either the body is sick or the environment around the body is so hot that the body can no longer cope with the extreme temperatures. As your body heat increases, more blood is being sent closer to the skin and also sweat production increases, causing you to become dehydrated quicker than you would normally. In a condition where your body heat gain exceeds your body's heat loss is when your body temperature begins to rise. It is when your body temperature rises is when heat illness starts to set in.

To avoid any excessive heat exposure, try to put on an air conditioner on approximately 76 degrees for optimal room temperature. If no air conditioner is available then try opening a window and a fan for air circulation as a substitute. In some cases it helps to close the blinds/shades from windows where the sun is primarily shining through to reduce the room's temperature but is optimal with steady air flow in combination.

If your condition is too cold then try wearing a sweater, thick pants like jeans or sweatpants, and possibly two pairs of socks. If your hands and head are exposed, then try wearing
touchless gloves, a hat that does not expose your ears, or ear muffs. In a cold environment try to keep all clothing dry and if any clothing is wet or damp it is recommended to replace immediately as exposure over time will only cause more harm.

Pay attention to this! When the air around you is too hot or cold, your body has to adjust its internal temperature, and that expends energy. If you can keep your environment at a comfortable temperature, you’re putting off fatigue by that much more.

Sources For Health and Bodily Temperature-

http://www.ccohs.ca/...h.html#longterm

http://www.ccohs.ca/...old_health.html
http://www.sevenforu...emperature.html





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Sleep


First of all, start off the week before (if you can plan it) getting a lot of sleep. You will be a peak performance when it comes time to play and mental focus. While you can’t bank sleep (meaning sleeping more beforehand doesn’t save it up for playing time) nor can you make up sleep (if you don’t sleep, that time is lost forever) you can make sleep a part of your 48-hour marathon and end up much better off physical and in-game than if you avoid sleep all together.

When the body sleeps, it restores energy lost while the body was active.  Even a power nap a couple times a day for an hour will keep your longevity with gaming going.  It’s better to be well rested and play the game than to play for a long period and then be out for a long time because of sleep deprivation.

The benefits of getting a 30 minute nap during the day can keep you kicking (and gaming) for many more hours before you have to sleep again.  Normally, naps should be used in combination with a regular sleeping cycle (7~8 hours of sleep at night on a regular basis).  Naps will provide a mental rejuvenation (what you need to interact with people and play video games) and a false (but nice) sense of generic energy (there isn’t much physical restoration that actually occurs during a short nap).  

The idea is to lie down away from noise and distractions, sleep for 20-30 minutes, and wake up immediately. Done properly, you enter REM sleep almost immediately, sleep for the full cycle, and wake up just as your body would transition into deeper sleep. You gain a mental boost, and can continue playing with minimal grogginess.


The US Army recommends to soldiers in stressful conditions that while naps can be used as a short term substitute, the goal is still 8 hours of sleep in a day. You probably won’t be getting that during your marathon, so make sure to sleep a full night when you’re done.



Mobility

Mobility is important for health. Mobility exercises (which include stretching) allow the joints of your body to move freely and allow you to move the joints about their intended planes of motion. Sitting at a computer for long periods of time can be detrimental to the body, including shortening areas of the body that humans really need to keep healthy for functional living and immobilizing joint areas. Most people who work at a computer, including gamers, have very tight hip flexors and tight hamstrings from sitting at a computer. At the same time, because these areas tighten, they become less mobile.

You don’t want to be standing up from a long gaming session and not be able to move. So the first rule is: stand up and take a break at least once an hour. This shouldn’t be a problem if you are hydrating properly because you’ll have to go to the bathroom anyways (don’t make use of that iron bladder you’ve developed). Leg, shoulder and back issues can arise from sitting in poor positions for long periods of time. As gamers, we need to keep these areas strong. One way we can do this is during our breaks, take some time to do a mobility routine to keep us going strong and battle the effects. What follows is are routines that can be used before you sit down for a session and every time you take a break, not just during the 48 hours.


Before and After Mobility

We highly suggest a full-body routine every day for long-term health benefits, and to counteract the mobility issues that arise from gaming.

Steve Maxwell, a kettlebell specialist has a great routine for full-body mobility featured on his friend Mike Mahler’s website. You can read about why Steve Maxwell thinks mobility training is essential in his article Mobility Training May Be the Most Important Factor in Musculoskeletal Health (
http://www.maxwellsc...2990&startrow=1
). The following routine can be used before any long gaming session. You will feel great!

http://www.mikemahle...aily-dozen.html

During the 48-hours Mobility

Do the Top 5 Mobility Exercises for Desk Jockeys from bettersbetter.com (http://www.bettersbe...sk-jockeys.html) during every break. These quick sessions of mobility will energize you and keeps the blood flowing.

Finger Dexterity

Here are some basic exercises to improve finger dexterity:

1) Place your palm flat on a table. Raise and lower your fingers one by one.

2) Crumple a piece of newspaper with one hand. Squeeze then relax.

3) Spread and separate your fingers apart. Then close them together.

4) Make an “O” using your thumb with each finger one at a time.

5) Using a pen, bend the end joint of your finger, keeping the base and middle joints straight.

6) Bring your fingertips to the upper palm of your hand, keeping the base joints (knuckles) straight.

7) Bring your thumb as far across your palm as possible. Then bring your thumb as far away as possible.

8) Individually bring each finger to your palm.


https://docs.google....RYXpH09A-ktmtcA


Conclusion

If you didn’t “TL;DR” we hoped you learned a lot from this guide to a 48-hour marathon that included tips and information that can be used any time. A lot of this is common sense but it can save you a lot of time and ensure your gaming potential is maximized, and the effort you put into your gaming ensures years of fun ahead of you.

Best of luck!


All guides found on www.teamlegacy.net are edited and updated by TL members. We work to improve each article over time, so give us your feedback. See you in-game.



#3740752 The Psychology of Winning: Fail Better | Guide

Posted Guest on 09 August 2012 - 07:51 AM

The Psychology of Winning: Fail Better

Intro:
With the newly launched GW2 section of AJ, I am promoting some of my most popular and well-received guides for the community here, originally promoted on Gw2Guru. While they pertain to GW2 in general, I published these guides to be sure they represent a variety of competitive scenes, so many items, such as in this guide here, can be applied to WoW or other formats.

I hope you enjoy. We posted the guide in full here, but the original can be found on www.teamlegacy.net. As well as other great guides.

Posted Image

Here's a simple question for you: Do you play to win?  I bet 90% of the people reading this would immediately answer "Yes, of course."  The problem is, a great number of them would be wrong.  They think they are playing to win, but they are trapped by pride and mental defense mechanisms that prevent them from truly playing to win.  I was once one of those players.  Most players start out that way.  The default state of human psychology is "protect the ego from harm."  When you lose, it's not your fault right?  The other guy was using an OP weapon, or a cheap move that takes no skill.  While these concepts are comforting to our ego, they are a massive barrier preventing us from getting better at games.  Hopefully, by the end of this article,  you will have the capacity to break through that barrier and truly Play to Win.




Playing to Win

"Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win."
- Sun Tzu

Lets start off with a disclaimer: Playing to win is not for everyone.  It takes time and effort, and can be incredibly satisfying for many people, but not everyone enjoys it.  Some people have other hobbies and only play games on the side.  There's nothing wrong with that.  This article isn't for them  This article is for the type of person who finds satisfaction in mastery, competition and self improvement.  Games provide a fantastic avenue to measure these aspects of achievement.  You either win a game or you lose; there is no in between.  So if you are the type of player who is willing to sacrifice time, effort, and a little pride, this article is for you.


Playing to win is a very simple concept: It means using the most effective tournament legal moves/tactics/abilities/characters/factions available.  It means you will sometimes be using abilities/characters/tactics that will win you the game, but earn the ire of your opponents.  It means accepting the fact that defeat is not to be blamed on your opponent's; defeat is not to be blamed on the game; defeat is your fault.  This is the key to playing to win.  Once you can accept that fact, you are ready to travel down the path of self improvement, towards satisfaction and victory.

"That move is so cheap!  It ruins the game!"
-Typical Scrub


We all accept that some games are better than others, but when it comes to multiplayer competitive games, there's only one measurement that really matters: how deep is the game?  Depth, in a multiplayer competitive game, is a measure of how many different viable avenues there are to victory.  If there is a single character/strategy/ability that is vastly superior to all others, the game is very shallow.  Whereas a game with many different equally viable options would be very deep.  Imagine if an FPS had a gun that was effective at all ranges, easy to aim, and did more damage than any other weapon in the game, with no major drawbacks.  We can all agree such a game would be become quite boring. Nobody would bother to use the other weapons, and there would be very little variety in playstyle or tactics.  Now imagine an MMO where every class was equally viable in the 5v5 competitive mode.  Imagine the combinations you could make!  Two warriors, a necro and two rangers might play very differently from a Warrior/Guardian/Elementalist/two thief setup.  As long as both teams have a roughly equal chance of winning, the game has a ton of depth.

The thing is, it's very hard to tell when a game is truly shallow, or if there is something that you are missing.  Sometimes deep games will appear to be shallow until you learn more about the game.  Sometimes games which look shallow actually are shallow.  The best example I can provide is
this one.  Would you look at this n00b?  He's whining about his opponent rushing him in an RTS game:

Quote

"All the guy did was build 2 villagers, have them build farms, research military, build a barracks with a 3rd villager, then pump out units. THAT'S IT! How is that strategy? Game over in 3 minutes? We're building our 2nd city and this guys attacking?"


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Clearly unbeatable!




So this guy encounters a strategy that seems to be uncounterable.  And even if it could be countered, it's not a real strategy because it ends the game in 5 minutes!  You never even get into the later ages of the game!  These arguments are not new, they've been made countless times ever since RTS games first started to be played competitively.  There's only one problem with these arguments: they are all based upon the premise that this strategy is unbeatable.  This guy got beat once and immediately concluded that  such a strategy is overpowered/broken.  About 15 posts down, one of the developers calmly responds with the easy to execute counter-move that stops such this rush dead.  This was a pivotal moment for this player.  He could accept the fact that he was wrong to jump the gun, or defend his pride and whine about rushing in RTS games forever.

For those of you who haven't noticed, the post in question was written by me, and was a turning point in how I viewed multiplayer games.  I had this mental rule that said "rushing is lame and should not be allowed."  I wasn't playing the actual game, I was playing a special sub-set of the game where you're not allowed to rush.  What's more, I expected everyone to abide by my made up rule.  Rushing isn't a problem in RTS games unless the rush is truly a degenerate/broken strategy that is the only method of winning.  On the day I wrote this post, I learned how easy it is to misidentify a game mechanic as broken.  From that day forward I decided to be more patient, and take more time before making the decisions that X mechanic was overpowered/broken.  

I even came up with a fantastic method of testing to see if a strategy/character/ability really is overpowered, and it's the easiest thing in the world: Master the potentially broken mechanic and use it against everyone.  If you think a class in an FPS is overpowered, play as that class exclusively and use all his "cheap" moves/weapons.  Nine times out of ten, someone will show you the true meaning of depth and wipe the floor with your "overpowered" character.  Try and figure out how he did it, and you're one step closer to mastering the game.

Playing to win in a broken game will result in boring, repetitive gameplay.  Playing to win in a deep game will force you to learn counters to the powerful strategies, and then learn counters to those counter-moves, and so on.  The deep games can look just like a broken shallow game, but give it a little time and you may find a whole new level of play you didn't even know existed.  Always assume there is more depth that you are missing and you won't wind up looking like a fool to the more knowledgeable players.


You Are Not Good At This Game
"Ever Tried?  Ever Failed?  No Matter.  Try Again.  Fail Again.  Fail better"
-Samuel Beckett

What goes through your head when you lose?  "I could have beaten him if only..." or "Well there was no way I could win if he used that broken..."  or maybe "that map sucks anyway."  If your goal is to get better, the first step is to correct the thoughts that run through your head right after a loss.  Instead of excuses which comfort the ego ("he beat me with that overpowered ability!"), the best possible path to mastery is examination of what you did wrong ("I should have been more prepared to dodge his powerful elite skill").  Ask yourself these questions:
  • "What mistakes did I make in this game?"

  • "For each mistake, what could I have done differently?"

  • "What can I learn from my opponent's play?"
Often these questions will not be easy to answer, but you must at least try.  With games that offer replay systems (usually RTS games like Starcraft 2), you can go watch the replay to answer these questions when you get stumped.  If you are truly not sure what you did wrong, perhaps you were simply not fast enough.  Once you've identified your mistakes, you know what to work on for the future.  Even if you had all the right moves and you tried to execute them at the right time, if your opponent was faster, you need to practice more to get your own speed up.  One of the best ways to get better is to practice one specific aspect to the exclusion of others.  If you are trying to get better at timing your leap attacks, try using them all the time (even when you normally wouldn't) and accept the fact that you're probably going to lose a lot while you do this.  In the end though, leap attacks will become second nature to you, and then you can move on to another skill.

"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so."
-Douglas Adams

Once you accept that you are not good at the game, you can start to learn from others.  If you're struggling with a particular faction/character/class, seek out guides/replays/videos from other players.  This is another mental barrier for some people.  What you'll hear from these people is "you didn't come up with that strategy by yourself, you just copied a better player."  For them, innovation is the only skill worth evaluating about someone.  You could wipe the floor with them using every single character/faction/class in the game, but if you do it by utilizing other people's strategies then (to them) you are clearly less skilled than they are.  This is another mental defense mechanism designed to protect the ego.  These players don't have the speed/reaction times to compete at the high level, so they will make up their own mental rule about what makes someone "good" at a game.  To these folks, winning isn't the ultimate measurement of someone's ability at a game.  They suggest that you must also measure the innovation of their strategy.  This makes them feel better when their innovative strategy fails to win them the game.  The best players study others and combine all the best strategies they can find.  If you spurn "copying" other people then you are setting yourself up for failure.  





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Innovation has it's limits.



Another great way to learn is to write your own guides.  I have noticed that when I go to write a guide I want the information to be accurate, so I am motivated to go out and actively test/research everything that I'm writing about to make sure it's correct.  As I write, I learn more about what I do and don't know about a character/faction/strategy, and I'm able to correct my deficiencies.  In addition, if what you write is incorrect, there will be plenty of people ready to tell you what you missed.  This is a great way to really discover what your own knowledge consists of.

Yomi - Get Into Your Opponent's Head

"I see only one move ahead, but it is always the correct one."
-Jose Raoul Capablanca, 3rdWorld Chess Champion

Yomi is a Japanese word that means "reading."  It is used in the fighting game community to mean "the process of reading/predicting the mind of your opponent."  Once you have identified and eliminated the flaws in your standard play, it's time to graduate to the next step: playing the opponent and not just the game.  Have you ever played a game where you are preparing some hidden strategy, and just when you go to launch it, your opponent unveils the perfect counter to your strategy.  But...but you know for afact he didn't scout you.  You made absolutely sure  that there was no way he could know you were going for that.  How the hell?  He must be maphacking right?  Or maybe he's just lucky.  There's no other explanation!  


Often you will find that very good players seem to just "know" what their opponent is about to do.  They are actually reading subtle cues and patterns in their opponent's play that broadcast the next move.  You can take advantage of this pattern recognition.  Not only should you study the patterns in your opponent, but try laying traps for him.  Broadcast a pattern (Attack, dodge, stun, big damage, repeat) and then when he has that pattern figured out, change something to catch him by suprise.  When he  dogdges twice to dodge your stun and big damage attack, wait until he finishes his second doge,then throw your big damge at him.  A great way to train this ability out is using the card game "Yomi" by David Sirlin.  You can play for free online, and I highly recomend it.

If you are utilizing all your skill and Yomi and still are unable to defeat your opponent, perhaps you should stop playing to his strength, and break out something
unconventional that he may not be prepared for.  If nobody in high level play uses the melee ranger build because it is considered "Weak," that means that nobody has spent any time countering it!




Conclusion: Be Humble; Know Thyself

One of the key concepts running through this article is that of being humble.  Never assume you know more than you do, or you might make a fool of yourself when you call something overpowered.  Always remember to avoid making up mental rules that handicap you from playing the real game.  When you lose, don't blame the game, blame yourself and seek out what you can do better next time.  Don't think so highly of yourself that you don't ask for help.  Always assume that you are giving something away to the opponent, and try to take advantage of that.

Respect the game, respect your opponents, and respect yourself

Sources:
Change the Way You Get Better At Games - Gamesradar
Playing to Win - David Sirlin
How David Beats Goliath - The New Yorker

This guide and others can be found on www.teamlegacy.net. We understand everyone has great opinions, and we encourage open criticism. Thanks for reading.


#3740763 Coaching Yourself in Competitive Play | Guide

Posted Guest on 09 August 2012 - 08:08 AM

Intro:
With the newly launched GW2 section of AJ, I am promoting some of my most popular and well-received guides for the community here that were originally shown on guru, While they pertain to GW2 in general, I published these guides to be sure they represent a variety of competitive scenes, so many items, such as in this guide here, can be applied to WoW or other formats.

I hope you enjoy. We posted the guide in full here, but the original can be found on www.teamlegacy.net, as well as many other great guides.


Coaching Yourself in Competitive Play

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How many friends do you know that lose their game in a fit of rage and blame everyone else for it? Throughout the gaming community, players like them fail to realize the clear picture of how the big names in E-Sports rose to fame. Here's a hint, if you thought they mega-raged after each loss, you were wrong.

Coaching yourself in Competitive Play

Chapter 1. Introduction - You learn the most from losing. It's true.
Chapter 2. Dealing with a Loss
Chapter 3. Learning from previous mistakes
Chapter 4. Practice Makes Perfect
Chapter 5. Closing Thoughts


Chapter 1. Introduction - You learn the most from losing. It's True.

If you are in this thread, it means you have gone past the basics of what it means to be a competitive gamer. Although you understand what is to come, until you actually experience it, you won’t truly know what it’s like. What I’m referring to is losing. Losing straight-out sucks. It can be frustrating, infuriating, and make you want to quit. There are plenty of reasons why you lose, teammates, out-skilled, out-smarted, mistakes, etc. However, there is something to be gained regardless of knowing why you lost. Losing is perhaps the most important part in the growth of a competitive gamer. But if you aren’t taking your losses properly, you will continue to lose, eventually plateau, and never improve.


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Before we go into this idea of losing properly, I want to give you a background of me as a gamer, so you understand my mindset and perspectives. The games that I have played shaped the way I have learned from them. The games YOU play, affect the way YOU learn from them. I cannot stress that enough. Your gaming background is going to influence how you view what I write, and I want to let you know where I am coming from, so that you can take my knowledge and apply it properly to your knowledge.

I started gaming at the age of 2 on the NES with Super Mario Bros. Ever since then I have been addicted to video games until maybe 2 years ago, at the age of 23, when I moved to Korea. My drive to be a competitive gamer started in middle school with CS 1.3, and started when I was in college. I have since then stopped playing competitively

My gaming time has recently been cut down drastically due to work and relationships, but my mentality has not changed. I pick up games very quickly, and I always want to win. I succeed in every game I play, not because I play it a lot, but because I nitpick the hell out of it. The games I played the most in my gaming career, Counter-Strike 1.3-1.6, Madden series, World of Warcraft until TBC, Guild Wars, DOTA until 6.54b, Brood War, League of Legends, and most recently DOTA 2. Note that three (WoW world PvP/duels) of the games I listed have been solo competitive play oriented. They also happen to be the games I played least out of the ones I listed. So my input comes from not just learning from my own play, but from playing with organized clans/guilds and pugs, as will my examples. This guide is focused on losing when playing team-oriented games.

Chapter 2. Dealing with a Loss

Losing will be the most frustrating you encounter when you play games. You can be hardcore or casual, it doesn’t matter, losing is frustrating. It’s why game developers have different levels of difficulty, and why they include cheat codes rather than remove them when the game goes live. Losing becomes even worse once you make the decision that you always want to win, and being a competitive gamer is something you desire.

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Remember, this doesn’t mean having fun is now out of the equation, what it does mean is that winning will amplify your enjoyment of the game. Never lose sight that in the end, we all play games to have fun. Once it stops being fun, you should re-evaluate playing the game. Seriously, from the words of Lim Yo-Hwan, known to many of you as SlayerS_`BoxeR`, “But if one is a progamer, the most fun thing in the world must be games, and the only thing that is fun must be games.” When there is no fun, there is no purpose. When there is no purpose, every loss snowballs to the point where you will take your frustrations out on others and you will hurt those you meant to have a good time with.

That being said, when playing a game, keep things in perspective. Realize everything else you learn to do in life, you have to start somewhere, and it’s not the same starting point for everyone. You will not be the best right away, and based on the life of the game, you will probably suck. Always remind yourself that you are a student of the game, and that there is always something to take away from these losses. If you are out skilled, you already have a starting point to learn from someone better than you. If you lost from your mistakes, you have a focal point of where to improve. If your losses are from your teammates, you have areas to learn on how to lead and be a better teammate. The list goes on. No matter what level of play you are at, there is always something to learn, something to improve. Most importantly, it’s not always related to the game, but your own personal condition. Your mental and physical health plays a pivotal role.

Try your best to not get upset from these games as you learn. There is a fine line between not caring and caring, just as there is a fine line for caring and caring too much. Your goal as you play is to ride the line to as close as caring too much as possible. It will improve your skills and efforts, because you are trying to win. If you do not try your hardest, then the losses become meaningless since the source of every mistake or problem that was made in the game is unknown.


Chapter 3. Learning from previous mistakes

So you’ve lost a game, now what? This is where it’s important to separate the focal point of your losses, and gaming backgrounds will influence what you consider important. i.e. Starcraft first focus of improvement in losses is mechanical since wins and losses are directly tied to your own play, whereas Counter-Strike would first be positional tactics because you need your whole team to work together to win, since pre-requisite is that you have mechanics down. Your loss breakdowns will fall in one of these categories probably: Mechanics, Out played, Out skilled, Teammates. There are different stages to improve your play based on how far you have progressed on the learning curve of the game.

Mechanics

What I mean by mechanics is not the basic gameplay elements. I am referring to the individual aspects that will allow a player to maximize and minimize their play. Mechanical losses are probably the easiest ones to deal with. This is because you know that the fault lies within your own play. It’s the one thing you have absolute control of, because your opponent(s) cannot influence how you click a mouse or how you push keys on a keyboard. (Doesn’t mean they can’t influence what keys you push though ;])

Chobo Status


If you are brand new to the game, then you simply need to learn smaller parts of the mechanics and focus on just that one aspect of the game. Replays are not needed, because the tactical areas of the games shouldn’t be involved. You simply want to succeed at completing the one task you have set for yourself. The nice thing is that you can practice this normally through some form of PvE where the influence of the enemy is hampered quite a bit. Some games make it more difficult to practice, but your options will always be there. Here’s a list of examples that you can apply.

TS: Practice Partner or vs. AI<br />
FPS: Designated aim_xxx maps.<br />
MOBA: vs. Bots


As stated before, the goal of these games aren’t to win, but rather to complete that one task and do it damn well. Set your goals relatively low, but not something you can regularly attain. Slowly increase your increments. Once you are comfortable with it, EXPAND your goals. Include your goal + timers for example. This is the basic form of a build. They are easy to emulate, and will start netting you wins. It will also let you transition nicely to the next level of the learning curve, and the next main reason for your losses.

You also should be looking up how skills work and interact with each other. What makes PvP far harder than PvE is the chaos. Teamwork and communication helps here, and the less chaos there is, the higher chance of success. It is very important to know HOW you can interact with your enemies AND teammates. Figure out the strengths and weaknesses of the role you enjoy playing and exploit it. When you run into something you don't understand, look it up. This will help develop the proper mentality when you play.


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Sure, having your skills perfectly layed out is great, but executing them properly is another matter entirely.

Out-played/Out-skilled

At this point in the game, you have left the newbie style of play and progressed to a level of play where you at least have some idea of what you are doing. What has led you to victory before, will probably not work as well anymore. This is largely due to the change in opponent. Your games should be played against other human opponents in order to introduce the core elements of competitive gaming: strategy and tactics. Your reason for losses will shift from your own play to your opponents. The next two stages you have of your competitive gaming rise to the top, will fall into two categories: Lower-Intermediate and Upper-Intermediate. There is no true intermediate stage of any game, due to the constant flux of players and patches. It’s either you win slightly more than you lose, or you win a lot more than you lose. If you’re losing more often than you win, it’s either you hit your plateau in terms of skill for that particular game, or you’re in the upper-intermediate status of organized play.

Lower-Intermediate Status

This stage is probably the quickest to get out of. Players normally enter this stage and will either get out quickly or stay here permanently. It’s what separates the players who want to learn from those who simply don’t care. Your mechanics have strengthened to the point where there is a good room for improvement, but they are solid enough where you can focus on other aspects of the game. Mainly, live game analysis. This is where you start massing games against live enemies. Bots/PvE will not help your improve here, because they are predictable. You need real situations to analyze and adapt to. Replays are still not a focal point, except for something that completely blows your mind away and makes you want to know what the hell just happened.


http://www.youtube.c...h?v=nRNwCQFvQWY

Mass gaming is incredibly stressful. For those who don’t know what it is, it’s exactly as it sounds. It’s play as many games you can when given the time. Based on your personal life, it varies a lot. While it sounds perfectly fine, since that’s all we do with our free time anyways, the difference is the amount of mental strain you put on yourself. Your goal is to play perfect every single time. Some games like Starcraft will burn you out in one or two games, others like League of Legends or Dota will take maybe a few more. Either way, you need to put a lot of pressure on yourself to maximize gains.

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Jaedong - SC Brood Wars Idol


A person I used to play Brood War with is perhaps the best example I know about mass gaming. We would play on ICCUP, a the official competitive Brood War server. It gives grades based on your performance in a season. Pro gamers are usually S class, sometimes A+. Top foreigners would hit A-, only one or two have been able to hit A. The lowest grade is E/Computer, and everyone starts at D. Perfect mechanics is about C-/C. I never exceeded D+ often not having the dedication to do well. I’d run into late-game macro problems, as well PvT wall break issues (sadly, my worst matchup as Protoss was vs Terran). The person I used to play with, was always around C-. I considered him extremely good, but he considered himself bad and undisciplined because of the lack of games he played. He eventually reached B+ in one season, but he told me that it took about 20 games a day to get there. If you’ve ever played Brood War seriously, one game is extremely tiring. There’s so many things you have to do, even if your mechanics are perfect. It’s absolutely grueling thinking that you have to do 20 20-minute games with minimal breaks. The payoffs are huge, but it also takes a toll on your physical condition.

I’m not saying you must dedicate yourself to gaming, just realize the more games you play seriously, the faster your improve. There is no shortcut. Some will learn quicker than others, just don’t be frustrated by what happens. This is the most critical point, because it will give you the needed exposure to what actually happens in games. It will help build your ability to adapt and analyze. It's okay to play non-serious games. It will help your relax and refresh your mind, but realize you also can't properly judge your own ability in these games.


Upper-Intermediate Status

The upper-intermediate status is similar to that of the lower-intermediate, except you are now winning far more frequently than you lose. Your analysis of situation is generally acceptable, and you make few mechanical mistakes. You understand your role within a team, and the best way to achieve your team’s goal. However, there will be a point when your skill level hits a plateau. Many games with matchmaking have incorporated the ELO system, and whenever your ELO starts to fluctuate +- 100-200 of where you started is when you need to start watching replays to improve. It’s important to understand what you’re looking for. If you just blindly watch a replay, it will do you no good, because you just wasted a bunch of time not truly understanding your losses. I’m going to use League of Legends, a MOBA that actually prevents 1v5s unlike other popular MOBAs, for the rest of my examples in this thread. I think it stresses teamwork far more than people realize, and with the reputation MOBA communities hold, proper analysis of replays is further magnified. This is where I’m currently at in League of Legends, but I haven’t hit my cap yet simply because I don’t put in the time to find out what it is. I’m fairly certain my ELO is higher than what I maxed out at, simply because I still had a 60+% win ratio at the time I stopped. I will be focusing on PUG play in this section. By PUG I mean a non-full team with everyone on the same VoIP. If you are playing with a group of friends on a VoIP program, this can still apply ONLY if you are relatively new to the scene. Organized play is a completely different beast, and probably deserves its own section.

Replays should be watched for your own personal play. I will guarantee you that you did something wrong that contributed to the loss of the game. Your positioning was off reducing the amount of damage you could do, you got caught and forced your team to fight with uneven numbers, you made a bad call, etc. Pay attention to what you can fix, because the nature of PUGs prevents you from having a huge amount of influence. Replays in MOBA are pretty simple, although they may seem long. Skip to the team fight sections and realize what went wrong. t's rather easy to find out if you were out of position, lacked vision, etc. If you lost your lane, no need for a replay. Practice and get better at it, you should realize what made you lose since it's a 1v1 thing.


Solo queue in League of Legends supposedly has something called, “ELO Hell.” As you can imagine, it’s a point of ELO where your teammates are simply so bad, you cannot get yourself higher. This prevents you from reaching your true ELO. There is a big debate about this, and I for one, think it doesn’t exist. I believe it reflects the poor mentality of the standard “hardcore” gamer, and shows why only a small percent actually reach “high ELO” status.

I have played games where I have double digit kills, and 1-3 deaths, and lost, and I was a huge factor to why we lost. I could have lost my lane early and not applying proper pressure to prevent the enemy from roaming. I could have not been committing hard enough in team fights. There’s always something that I did wrong that contributed to the loss, and my goal is to prevent those mistakes from happening. While that is obviously impossible, limiting the number will far increase your chance of winning, and it will also help you stay level-headed so that you don’t tilt and throw your own game.

If you are having trouble understanding what I mean, it’s easiest to just see it.


http://day9.tv/

Day[9] provides great insight in terms of analyzing replays. He also is popular enough to draw in professional level players and hear about their thought process. Although the game is Starcraft 2, it shows just how many facets that should be looked at when analyzing your play from a game.


The one thing I cannot stress enough is this. It is important to realize that YOU are the problem when you lose. Whenever in doubt, just think about the common denominator rule. What is the one constant in every loss? YOU.

Teammates

“Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.”
- Proverbs 27:17

Teammates are the last thing to consider when learning from a loss. However, they will be the reason for some of your losses. Just like with anything that is team oriented, communication is the key to winning. You don’t win by yourself, and you don’t lose by yourself. Organization is crucial, and with PUGs, it can be extremely hard to do. You, as a player, need to learn how to lead. Confidence is important and trusting yourself. If you honestly believe you know what is best for your team, make the calls. You have no one else to blame except yourself if you knew what to do to win, but say nothing about it. A lot of responsibility comes with making calls, because a bad one will cost you the game. However, having everyone commit to a bad call is far better than people half-committing to good ones.

Another thing to remember when dealing with teammates, is how to properly change their attitude and behavior in a game after losing. Show them respect, even when they aren’t respectful to you. Applying more pressure to them, or talking them down when they are already doing poorly, WILL shut off the desire to win. Their goals may even change to make sure you have the least amount of enjoyment possible. MOBAs are notorious for this. Forcing your teammates to mute everyone only hurts and doesn’t help. Just because you aren’t the one saying it, doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do. Mediating helps tons. Just realize, the instant someone gives up, you’re fucked.


Chapter 4. Practice makes Perfect

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It's ok to be upset you lost, but take a moment afterwards to reflect on why.

This is as straightforward as you get. Apply the knowledge that you have gained in order to improve. Learning from your losses is a crucial step to improving quickly. When something doesn’t work out as planned, go back and try again and make adjustments if needed. People with the time to play games don’t need any guidance with this. Many of us already do this without realizing it. However, for the gamer who lacks time, like myself, we live in an age that will give us pseudo-hours of actual playing time:Streams.

Streams come in two forms: Professional Players and Tournaments

Streams of professional players let us know what we should try to achieve, even if we aren’t at that level of play. It gives a visual cue when it is normally impossible. The most popular streams are ones who keep in touch with their viewers and let us know their thought process. The biggest advantage is the incredible amount of insight you get through FPV. You get to know how they watch the game unfold. When I streamed and people I played with got to see how I played for the first time. They were amazed at how much I'm keeping tabs on everything. My screen never just stays in one area but rather jumping to places where I think something important may happen.


Streams of tournaments are another excellent form of learning. It gets to show us the team-play aspect of games. Often times, streams of players are very self-centered. You can learn the individual things you have to do to succeed. Tournaments are the opposite and allow you to understand what to do as a team. Just make sure the casters are appropriate. The color commentator NEEDS to know his/her stuff or else you won't learn anything. Tobiwan for DOTA 2 vs. any group Riot Games sends out will quickly show the huge gap of casting skills in the same genre of gaming.

Remember, streams are a resource just like anything else. Nothing will ever replace actual playing time, but they can help you improve much quicker. Furthermore, there are many sites that provide written guides for games you play, which will give you a framework to work with, if you cannot watch streams. They should not be a crutch, but rather guidance until you are comfortable enough to do everything on your own.

The last thing to remember is to keep things in perspective. The people you playing with aren’t professionals. You won’t improve as quickly as the person who can play 6-8 hours a day, but you can improve far quicker than before if you are smart about your time.


Chapter 5. Closing Thoughts

If you have gotten this far, congratulations! I do not often put my thoughts down on paper, and am actually a pretty poor teacher of games. I am much better at understanding the thinking of others than explaining how I actually think. I hope that this guide has provided some insight to how you should view games. Much of how I view games is actually from how I view life. Looking for the why instead of the what has treated me well, and is the basic requirement for understanding and improving yourself.

For the aspiring gamer, there is one thing I strongly recommend you read: Crazy as Me. The biography of Lim Yo Hwan. If you can find it somewhere translated on line, it's worth the read.
http://web.archive.o...y.blogspot.com/

This will not only make you a better gamer, but give you a greater appreciation for games and the commitment that we as individuals make in our lives. Since it is from a professional gamer, I believe it is easier to understand since he goes over many situations that we have experienced or have imagined.



This guide and others can be found on www.teamlegacy.net. We understand everyone has great opinions, and we encourage open criticism. Thanks for reading, be sure to drop kwlpp a line @ TL if you have specific feedback!


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